GROWING INTO GRACE
BY: LENNY ANTONSSON
APRIL 29, 2001
“But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.“ (Rom. 11:6, RSV)
The law pertains strictly to those that are dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1), to bring them back to Christ Gal. 3:24). That’s what the law is for. It is there to make sin so much more noticeable (Rom. 5:20; 7:7-9; 1 Cor. 15:56), so much more sinful (I Jn. 3:4), to cause people to come to Christ for forgiveness. As long as you are in the law, you will feel sin and guilt and shame all the time. That is what the law does to people who are sinful. The best way to find out if you have any law hanging on to you is to look at your life. Is there condemnation there? Is there guilt? Is there shame? If there is, it means that you are still partly in the law. If you see any of that in your life, I’m not saying for you to run away as far as you can from it, because Christ has not fully revealed Himself to you. This is why the law is still there. Romans 8, verse 1, says, “There is therefore NO condemnation to those that are in Christ.” If you are in Christ and not in the law, there will be no condemnation, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Rom. 8:2, RSV)
This is a responsibility of the Lord, to reveal Himself to you. The scripture says that the law is going to be there until the seed comes (Gal. 3:19); until the seed is revealed in you (Gal. 4:19), the law will be there. It is Christ’s responsibility to reveal Himself to you. To the extent He has, to that extent, you have given up the law. IF there was something you could do about it, I would tell you about it, but there is nothing you can do about it. It is all up to God. If there was something you could do about it, and you did it and completed the task, you would take all the glory, and you would put God on the side, but the scripture clearly says that He will draw you unto Himself (Jn.12:32). He will forgive you (Gal. 1:4). He will cleanse you (Eph. 5:27). This is part of the covenant that He made with Abraham, that He will do everything. This is not part of the law that He gave to the Jews, which said, “If you will do this, I will do this for you, but if you don’t do it, I will get you.” (See Deut. 28). That is under the law; and that is the law, but the promise to Abraham is that “I will do this for you.“ (Gen. 15:4-6) This covenant is not an imperative (commands) covenant, but it is an indicative (what already is) covenant (Ezek. 37:26; Heb. 13:20). This covenant was made with Abraham and his seed (Gen. 26:3, 24; 28:13; Ex. 32:13; Lk. 1:55), which is Christ (Gal. 3:16). So, the covenant in Christ is God saying, “I will accomplish it; I will draw you unto myself; I will forgive you your sins; I will pay the price for all the sin of the world.” If you try to add the law on to that, then it is no more grace by faith: “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.” (Romans 11:6, RSV. See also I Tim. 1:9). God said, “I will put my laws within their hearts and upon their minds.” (Jer. 31:33; Heb. 8:10) “I will do it, for my holy name’s sake” (Ezek. 36:22), God said. Jude clearly saw it, when I said, “I will keep you from falling and will present you faultless before the glory.“ (Jude 24)
From beginning to end, it is a “God job.” Don’t try to add the law to it. There is nothing you can do to please God. When you are living in grace, by FAITH, you have to totally trust God to do the job for you even as He did for Abraham (Rom. 4: 13). There is no other way. This whole thing is summed up in the gospel of John, the first chapter and the 12th and 13th verses makes it so clear: “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name, which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” God did the whole thing. There was no room for any of man’s will or any blood line or any of that in the natural. It was all God right from the beginning.
Through salvation, we enter into the grace of God through FAITH (Eph. 2:8). Faith is a total trust in God, believing what He says is true and that He will accomplish it, and faith is not something that you have conjured up in the flesh, out of your own strength. Faith is a gift of God (Eph. 2:8). True spiritual faith is the free gift of God (Rom. 5:15,16,18). Yes, there is natural faith also, but that is not the faith I’m talking about here. I am talking about that which is in God, which is through God, and that which returns to God. That is the faith I’m talking about. This faith was brought by Christ. Look at Gal. 3: 23, 25. There was no spiritual faith before Christ came. Listen to what it says: “But before faith came, we were guided by the law while we were waiting for the faith which was to be revealed.” Verse 25 says, “But since faith has come, we are no longer in need of the law, for you are the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ.” Like I said, this faith is not some faith that your natural, Adamic man has conjured up. It is the faith of Christ, because in Gal. 2:20, it says, “I have been crucified with Christ, but it is not I who lives, but Christ living in and through me, and the life I now life in the flesh, I live by the faith OF the son of God.” It is His faith! You are dead in Christ. Dead men don’t have faith! It is the faith of Christ. This is the spiritual faith that I’m talking about. This is that faith that says, “I trust you Father. I trust you God that you are going to accomplish everything because I am dead. I cannot accomplish anything on my own.” And He proved it by sending Christ to the cross to pay for all sin and He proved it on the third day when He rose from the dead. He had accomplished everything. “It is finished,” he said (Jn. 17:4; 19:30). And it is!
GROWING IN GRACE [Lenny Antonsson] 4-29-01 1